OHMIGOSH SHIGATSU WA KIMI NO USO LEAVING US ON A CLIFFHANGER AFTER THIS WEEK’S EPISODE. SOOOO MUCH BUILD-UP I CAN’T STAND IT!!!!!
“To follow the score and play exactly as the composer intended… now that’s an incredible feat…” – Kaori
Episode seven of Shigatsu was Kimi no Uso is an example of one of the best suspenseful build-up episode EVER. The entirety of the episode focuses a lot on Kousei’s emotional introspection… thinking about how he’s going to approach the stage, how the music world will react, what the audience will think of him. In many ways, Kousei’s return to the stage is not only a large ripple in the intermediate-advanced competitions of his age group, it’s also Kousei taking a physical step forward in dealing with the negative scars his mother’s last months left on him.
While Kousei and Kaori are making big impacts in the music world, Tsubaki and Watari have both lost their junior competitions. By this time so Kousei is focused on the Maihou Competition every single day, constantly, every moment of his life, reading and re-reading the score, imbuing Chopin into his very being…
A question you often ask yourself when you play classical music is, “Where do I fit into the score?” Where do I find myself Chopin? And I think this line of dialogue makes the characters so much more realistic as musicians. As a classically-trained pianist all my life, I always found myself wondering how to relate to the classical pieces I played. Because classical music is pretty out of context in the present day world, save for music competitions and concert halls, it’s not like we hear it a lot in mainstream pop… For Kousei, he’ll only really find himself within Chopin, within the music, when he begins to erform on stage.
More narrative is provided of Kousei’s past. I’m surprised that Kousei is only inclined to share these parts of himself with Kaori considering how long he’s known Tsubaki and Watari. At the same time though, it’s understandable for Kousei to keep his music life completely separate from his sports-oriented friends because they wouldn’t be able to empathize much with how he’s feeling. Even when I’m dancing, or engaging in some sort of artistic activity, it’s difficult to share those sentiments with people who haven’t experienced what you’ve experienced; completely different wavelengths.
It’s a refreshing change to see Kousei backstage on his own and Kaori in the audience with the others. Though Kaori is only a violinist, she’s versed enough in the music world to pick out Emi Igawa and Takeshi Aiza, the best of the regulars. As young musicians, Emi and Aiza have played in Kousei’s shadow… he became an obstacle to overcome, a rival musician to conquer. We’ll see just how fierce they can be on stage next week. So much hype over Kousei’s return to the competition especially because he gets so much heat for being the human metronome and his mother’s puppet. I think Kaori puts it best when she describes him like a digital watch, never wavering even for a second, nothing resonating out… it’s such a striking image to use here. We associate digital watches with technology, mechanisms, the monochrome colours… versus analog clocks which provide an organic and textured contrast to the coldness of the former. Subtle and simplistic, but extremely effective.
“We’re all afraid to get up on stage. Maybe you’ll mess up, maybe they’ll completely reject you… Even so, you grit your teeth and get up onstage anyway…” – Kaori
The episode immerses you so much in the pre-competition tensions that you get swept up in the anxiety, the excitement, the nervousness, the imminent challenge… and JUST when Takeshi is about to take to the keys… IT ENDS. AHHHH SO MUCH SUSPENSE. I am absolutely ecstatic at seeing this part animated because it’s one of my favourite performances in the manga thus far. The manga was so emotionally charged here, I can imagine they’ll only amp it all up next week with all that real-time animation has to offer… I. CAN’T. WAIT.
What are you pondering today?